This is slightly premature, but let’s go with it: late February marks my one year anniversary here on the blog (blogiversary?). Yessiree, it’s been a whole 12 months since I started this thing…my, how things have changed. What have I learned in the past year? Let’s take a look back…The Books of Jobe, this is your life!
1. I was a naive, ignorant turd to think I was ready to try and publish a book.
That sounds a bit harsh, but it’s true. I started the blog because I was finishing up a novella that I was considering either submitting to publishers or self publishing via Amazon. As I delved into the blogosphere I realized a couple of things: There were a lot of other aspiring writers out there with excellent blogs of their own, and I was nowhere near ready to publish anything (although I did submit my novella once before coming to my senses). Reading the blogs of fellow writers showed me how far I really had to go to become a writer of any real quality.
2. I had no idea how far-reaching my blog could be.
As I reviewed my stats, I was not entirely surprised to see people from Canada and the UK popping up. Then I saw India, Australia, and Denmark. Wow, this blogging thing is more popular than I thought. Then came countries like Pakistan, Tanzania, Israel, and Budapest. Really? I’m still floored by how many different countries are listed in my site stats. Granted, a lot of them are just 1 view, but still, I had no clue as to the global reach of WordPress.
3. People are freakin’ creepy.
I had read other bloggers’ stories. I knew the freaks were out there. For anyone reading not familiar with how WordPress works, it will show you how many people were referred to your blog from search engines and, in some cases, what specific search terms they entered. There are true horror stories out there about what types of perverted things people typed into Google to wind up where they did. My cringe-inducing winner? Someone found my blog by searching for the term “daddy watching jailbait daughter masturbate.” All together now—*shudder* As a side note, my site came up on that search because of the post I wrote about creepy song lyrics. NO OTHER REASON.
4. I could apparently have the most popular blog of all time if I devoted more posts to this bug.
Last April, I was at the beginning of the A to Z blogging challenge. I was on the letter B and decided to devote a post to the godforsaken bugs that feast on the seeds of the golden rain tree in our front yard. Aside from the post I wrote that WordPress promoted as Freshly Pressed, that post about bugs is far and away my most viewed post. I mean, seriously—by a mile. It’s not even funny. Hardly a day goes by that I don’t have at least one view on that post or some combination of the words ‘golden rain tree bug’ in the search terms. If I was more ambitious I suppose I I could consider starting another blog devoted to the little bugger, but I’ve got more than enough on my plate as it is.
5. I needed this blog more than I thought.
I started the blog thinking it was basically some sort of publicity tool and nothing more. I didn’t know anyone who had a blog, and although I heard the word all over the place, I associated blogs more with things like Perez Hilton and Gossip Girl. I had no clue what awaited me once I went down the rabbit hole.
Although I haven’t met any of my WordPress friends in person, I wouldn’t hesitate to call a good number of you friends. I’ve friended or been friended by a few of you on Facebook (which, coincidentally, all of you are free to do—don’t worry, I don’t post much), connected on Twitter, even one LinkedIn connection that I still don’t know what to do with. The point is, a year ago none of those relationships existed. And while I assume some of these connections may help me sell some books whenever I’m ready to publish (be it traditional or indie), I see now that’s not the real point. The point is support and encouragement while I work to make my writing better and get myself published, because if any of you out there haven’t heard, writing is hard goddamn work. I honestly don’t know if I could’ve stuck with it if I was still doing it alone.
Thanks for reading, everybody.